Proverbs 26:20-28

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Proverbs 26

20 Where no wood is, there the fire goeth out: so where there is no talebearer [i.e. gossip, whisperer], the strife ceaseth.

A quarrel dies down if there is no gossip just as a fire goes out if there is no fuel.

Someone has written the following which is quoted in the Believer's Bible Commentary, p. 858,

I am more deadly than the screaming shell of a howitzer. I win without killing. I tear down homes, break hearts, and wreck lives. I travel on the wings of the wind. No innocence is strong enough to intimidate me, no purity pure enough to daunt me. I have no regard for truth, no respect for justice, no mercy for the defenseless. My victims are as numerous as the sands of the sea, and often as innocent. I never forget and seldom forgive. My name is Gossip.

21 As coals are to burning coals, and wood to fire; so is a contentious man to kindle strife.

Fueling a fire creates a blaze. A contentious individual creates a fight.

22 The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.

Fallen human nature eats up gossip. Consider, however, the personal hurt done to the one about whom the gossip is spread, especially when the gossip is not true. The wounds are deep. Although someone may not dream of stabbing someone with a long butcher knife, his gossip regarding the individual may have a similar effect.

23 Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross.

A silvery finish on a potsherd [i.e. a broken piece of pottery] may make it appear valuable. Similarly, lips burning with pretended love covers over a wicked heart full of hatred. Judas' pretended affection of Jesus when he betrayed Him with a kiss illustrates the point.

24 He that hateth dissembleth with his lips [i.e. In his speech he disguises his hatred, he makes his hatred unrecognizable in his speech, he hides (or conceals) his hatred in his speech], and layeth up deceit within him;

He hates but is deceitful. He cannot be trusted.

25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations [i.e. detestable things or objects of hate] in his heart.

Although one who hates may speak graciously, he cannot be trusted. He hides seven abominations in his heart, i.e. he is full of evil and malice.

26 Whose hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shewed before the whole congregation.

Eventually his wickedness will be manifested before all.

27 Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.

Consider Galatians 6:7 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Consider Haman in Esther chapters 5-7 who built a gallows so that he might hang Mordecai on it but was himself hanged on it.

Consider those who plotted to have Daniel thrown into the lions' den who found themselves thrown into the lions' den.

28 A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

A liar hates his victims. He desires to harm others by slandering their reputations. A flatterer ruins his victims as well as himself.